November 12, 1987 |
Lawncrest has the usual litany of city problems - rats, abandoned cars, vandalism and illegal dumping. Now comes water ice. At a Lawncrest Community Association meeting Tuesday George and Mary Sebold, of the 400 block of Sanger Street, and some of their neighbors objected to a proposed water-ice window in a building occupied by Sensation Tanning Salon and Hair Tech Unlimited in the 5700 block of Rising Sun Avenue. The Zoning Board of Adjustment has set a hearing for Tuesday on the owners' request for a permit to operate the window during the summer.
June 28, 1993 |
Late last night, Joe Voci locked himself in the study of his Southwest Philadelphia rowhouse and shredded documents. Well, not documents exactly. But labels. Labels to his secret ingredient. "My competitors would kill for it," he said. Joe Voci sells water ice - possibly the fastest-growing, most competitive, most ruthless business in Philadelphia. "We shred everything," said Voci, co-owner of Joe's Water Ice, with two stores in South Philly and one in Southwest.
June 11, 2012 |
Bob Tumolo, who opened the first Rita's-brand summertime water-ice shop in 1984, was a city firefighter from South Philly who sold out, after 20 years, because growing the chain made him tired. And selling it made him rich. Jonathan C. Fornaci, who now runs the 600-store, $140 million-plus (yearly sales) franchise chain from Trevose, has had a career that reads like energy personified: He's a Berkeley-trained physicist, founder of a Silicon Valley venture consultancy (Atomic Tangerine)
March 20, 1995 |
Tomorrow is the first day of spring, and water-ice lovers are in for a treat: Rita's Water Ice is offering free cups of its product at its stores, including six Delaware County locations, to herald its official opening for the season. "These are not sample cups of water ice," Robert Tumolo, president and founder of Rita's, said. "This is our first giveaway. And each operator will determine whether to give out medium or smaller cups. " He said the free water ice was a marketing strategy "to make people more aware that we are open.
August 17, 1997 |
Officer Scott Bishop catches sight of them in his rearview mirror, slows down the police cruiser, and prepares. It's a real mob this time, and they're closing in. He may need backup, but he checks his glove compartment and decides he can handle it alone. The mob surrounds the car. Years of police training have taught Bishop to be cautious, to remain calm. As he emerges from the armored safety of the cruiser, Bishop comforts himself with the knowledge that if he can make drug arrests, surely he can deal with a dozen grade-schoolers on dirt bikes.
July 29, 2001 |
As still as Lyn Fuller perched on a stone ledge and wrapped in the private sounds of a soul singer crooning through the headphones of her portable CD player. That's Kelly Drive. As reverent as Michael Cantey bowed in prayer near a metal grating and immersed in praise of the Lord, whom he credits with keeping him free of drugs and alcohol for more than two months. As whimsical as Robert Rasmussen tilted against the blue van that marks his space near Boathouse Row, gleeful in his role as "Chief," the "Everything-for-$1" vendor who's been supplying regulars with pretzels, drinks and water ice for 60 years.
August 6, 2000 |
Summer is not just ice cream. It's snow cones and water ice; sherbet, sorbet and sorbetto; granitas and batidos. All refreshing and flavorful ices. Ices have been a warm-weather ritual for some time. In Persia, sherbet (or sharbat) was a drink of ice or snow sweetened with fruit juice. A fifth-century visitor from China is reported to have observed: "The climate is very hot, and families keep ice in their houses. " This ice was likely brought down from the mountains and stored for the summer months using much the same method as that of Alexander the Great, who supposedly dug out pits and covered them with oak branches so that he would always have cooling snow available.
February 9, 1994 |
Like in-laws who drop by uninvited, annoying storms have been visiting Philadelphia all winter. Yesterday, we got the brother-in-law who brings nothing but trouble. He knocked on the door a little before 10 a.m., carrying suitcases full of snow and sleet and promising to make the evening rush-hour as miserable as possible. He succeeded. We hoped he would leave, but he insisted on spending the night on the couch. He said he planned to be up bright and early this morning, spreading freezing rain and ice along the highways.
August 14, 1987 |
Slush? In August? Relax, this is the kind you want to have, not the stuff you slosh through in February and that all too often gets into your socks. This is the welcome kind you could eat a barrel of when the heat and humidity vie for your very soul, when just thinking makes you sweat. Water ice. In the export of Philadelphiana to the rest of the world in this We The People season, water ice takes a back seat to soft pretzels and cheese steaks, not to mention Ben Franklin. 'Tis a pity, because, while it ain't up there with the Constitution in national importance, you can't cool off with the Bill of Rights no matter how hard you try. The midsummer swelter brings the return of water ice to shuttered cubby holes as surely as the swallows to Capistrano.
February 7, 1994 |
Ike the Bagel Man, the avuncular South Street luncheonette/water-ice-stand owner who has sliced more bagels and kidded with more customers than you can shake a shtick at, is a new person. Gone is Ike Silverberg, thoroughly bored retiree. Last Friday, after three years out of business, Silverberg reopened his humble Bagelry, the sandwich business he had run at 238 South St. for 12 years. What you now see is a man with a smile on his face, cream cheese on his hands and a quip on his lips.